As Android 12 arrives on more devices, Google today detailed what the latest version of its mobile OS will add to very affordable “Go edition” devices.

From the full operating system, Android 12 (Go edition) adds three privacy capabilities, starting with microphone and camera indicators in the top-right corner of the status bar. This is followed by a Privacy dashboard in Settings and the ability to just specify “approximate” – instead of “precise” – location.

For example, limiting your weather app to your approximate location will still give you  an accurate forecast. 

Quick Settings have also been redesigned to make use of large pills, while the Recents multitasking menu adds shortcuts to quickly “Translate” on-screen/in-app content and “Listen” via speech-to-text. There’s also the large “Screenshot” button. 

Meanwhile, Google says apps will launch 30% faster “with smoother animation,” while the SplashScreen API is also available. Android 12 Go will hibernate applications that “haven’t been used for extended periods of time” to save battery life and storage. 

Hibernating apps will also prevent them from draining your battery. Meanwhile, the updated Files Go app will allow you to recover files within 30 days, so you can confidently delete unnecessary files to free up space in the meantime. 

Speaking of the Files app, Nearby Share allows for “easier app sharing,” so you can long-press on any application from the homescreen to initiate a transfer session. 

Lastly, Android 12 Go lets you easily switch to a guest instance directly from the lockscreen with an avatar in the top-right corner:

You’ll be able to easily switch to a guest profile before sharing your device, and reset it once they’re done.

New devices will launch with Android 12 (Go edition) in 2022. It comes as Go edition devices are now actively used by over 200 million users. [Update: The new figure refers to just active users.]

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Abner Li

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